Produce Safety Program Specialist, Nebraska Department of Agriculture
After graduating from Oklahoma State University with a B.S. in Agricultural Education, Caitlyn Andrews worked on the Food Safety team at the Walmart Corporate Offices in Bentonville, AR. She was responsible for handling the food inspection paperwork for each store and Sam’s Club in the U.S., C.O.O.L. inspections and trace backs, working with suppliers, and attending to stores with issues regarding food safety. Caitlyn’s team met about current food safety issues and would often host speakers to better educate everyone’s daily decisions.
Caitlyn and her husband then moved to Charleston, SC, where Caitlyn obtained a job for three years as a food safety coordinator for an upscale hotel. Her job was to build an entirely new food safety program. This included writing food safety plans for each of the three restaurants, monitoring fresh inventory for quality and safe temperatures, and training employees on safe food handling. The goal was to not only make food safe, but create a work culture built on high quality, safe food handling practices.
Upon moving to Lincoln, Caitlyn took a job with the Nebraska Department of Agriculture on the Feed team as an Animal Feed Regulatory Program Standards (AFRPS) staff assistant. She worked briefly to help with the implementation of new feed policies, such as Veterinary Feed Directives (VFDs) before accepting her current job as a Produce Safety Program Specialist.
Since taking this job in February 2017, Caitlyn and her team have developed a produce grower inventory, an NDA Produce Safety website, provided Produce Safety Alliance Training, conducted On Farm Readiness Reviews, and plan to begin produce safety inspections in 2019. This program has more growing to do but is off to a great start.